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Home In Time for Supper--Wraith Squadron/OCs >>Update! 1/6<<

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Xaara, Sep 2, 2002.

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  1. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002
    NOTE: This story begins a little ways into Aaron Allston?s ?Wraith Squadron,? so the squadron has already been chosen and the characters have already been established, but my story goes off on a completely different tangent. So sit back, grab a stuffed Ewok and a mug of Corellian ale, and enjoy. :D


    Garik ?Face? Loran blew out an impatient breath, allowing his annoyance to show for just a nanosecond before retreating behind his sabacc face. His wingmate, Ton Phanan, turned both his eyes, real and artificial, towards Face. Raising one eyebrow inquisitively, he asked, ?What is it??

    ?Ever since I was put on this squadron, nothing?s happened,? he complained. ?Not only is nothing going on, there isn?t even a decent place to get a meal.? Staring dispassionately at the unidentifiable mush that was his lunch, he stuck a fork into it, then jumped. ?And whenever I eat, my food looks at me.?

    ?We?ve been here for what, a week? That?s not even enough time for you to meet all the people on the squadron.?

    ?I know,? Face sighed. ?It?s just that I expect everything to be like a holodrama, with the hero, that would be me, rescuing the helpless and beautiful heroine, hmm?that?d be Tyria, from the evil Empire. Of course, you couldn?t have a part.?

    Rolling his eyes, Ton said, ?Even though I know you?re going to rip my dignity to shreds if I ask you this question, I?ll bite anyway. Why couldn?t I be in this holo of yours??

    Face grinned evilly. ?Several reasons. First, heroes don?t get hurt, and even on the rare occasions when they do, they certainly don?t have to get replacement parts. Most people aren?t allergic to bacta and accident prone, but you?re already a fifth mechanical and gaining on my astromech. Second, you have no acting experience, and, as they say, you can?t teach an old whisperkit new tricks.? The last statement earned Face a glare, but he simply smiled innocently and continued on with his list. ?Third, all heroes, have to be roguishly handsome, like me, and try as I might, I just can?t use that combination of words to describe you??

    Disgusted, Ton threw a roll in Face?s general direction. Face ducked, and the bread sailed on past him to hit Myn Donos squarely between the shoulder blades. Deliberately, Myn turned, shot Face and Ton a look of utter revulsion, then rotated his line of vision back toward the unappetizing brown goo on the plate before him.

    Hunching his shoulders, Ton muttered, ?Geez, what?s his problem??

    Face shrugged. ?Dunno. Just leave him alone. He has the sense of humor of a hungry rancor.?

    ?Right,? Ton snickered. He pushed his meal around his plate once more before giving up on it and rising to dump it into the nearest trash receptacle. ?Come on, I?ll sim with you.?

    ?Sure.? After tipping the majority of his own food into the garbage, Face followed Ton, heading for the nearest exit from the mess hall.

    ?If I win,? said Ton, ?I want to know where you?re getting all that alcohol. Don?t act all innocent. I saw you stow those bottles of Corellian brandy in your desk.?

    Face grimaced. ?All right. But if I win, you have to help me with a little project I?m working on.?

    ?You?re on.?
  2. Admiral_Lelila

    Admiral_Lelila Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 29, 2001
    :) I love the Wraiths.
  3. Tych_sel

    Tych_sel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 29, 2001
    Interesting. I wonder what the project is?

    Force be with you,

  4. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Jan 12, 2000
    There aren't enough Wraith Squadron fics. I'll definitely try to keep up with this one; it's a good start so far! :)
  5. Sahiri

    Sahiri Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 27, 2002
    Wraith Squad!! Yay!!! [face_love]

    Sounds interesting...

  6. Admiral_Lelila

    Admiral_Lelila Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 29, 2001
    Great beginning. :)

    BTW In RD and RS Face was still a captain!!!! ?[face_plain] I'm confused about his lack of advancement.

    IMO Face should have been at least a colonel.

  7. Master_Jaina1011

    Master_Jaina1011 Jedi Master star 4

    May 20, 2002
    yeah! Wraith fic! I sure do love 'em. ill be checking on this one!
  8. Daughter_of_Yubyub

    Daughter_of_Yubyub Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 8, 2002
    Yay! A Wraith fic! Keep up the good work.
  9. _Derisa_Ollamhin_

    _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2000
    Good start, Xaara... we want more! :)

  10. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2002
    This is a GREAT story!!!

    BTW, AL, when the Wraiths got moved to a full intelligence unit, they kept their ranks but didn't get promoted because they weren't in the military any longer.

    Love NYC
  11. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002
    Admiral_Lelila: A shared sentiment. And there's no way Face should be a Colonel...he should be Supreme Emporer of the Galaxy! ;)

    Tych_sel: All will be revealed in time... :)

    Jane Jinn: Posts more often, I promise! Thanks.

    Sahiri: Thank you.

    Master_Jaina1011: Please keep checking--this is only the beginning...

    Daughter_of_Yubyub: *see below* :)

    _Derisa_Ollamhin_: Thanks! *see above* :D

    NYCitygurl: Thank you! Another mystery solved. ;)

    All right, readers, here's the looooong awaited post. My apologies for the delay--blame it on school, my other fics, beta reading, whatever. At any rate, here's the next bit:


    Staring at the flat grey ceiling above his bunk as if it really interested him, Kell Tainer tried in vain to reach the oblivion of sleep. I?ve had a long day, he thought wearily. At first, being on the new squadron had been somewhat of a trial for him; having Janson so nearby was a constant reminder of what his father had done, what he hoped fervently he would not do himself. When he had first been introduced to Wes Janson, the man who had killed his father, Kell had tried to leave the squadron, but Wedge Antilles, a pilot he had since grown to respect tremendously, had played on his pride, more or less forcing him to stay. And now here he was, lying on a bed that was uncomfortably small for his large frame, trying to pass the dull hours until it was again his watch.

    Turning on his side, he reached for the book he was reading, a novel by a Alderaanian native who had escaped the Death Star without her family and had since come to call Coruscant her home. After skimming several pages, he decided it was too depressing and set it down on his bedside table.

    Kell sat up on the edge of his bunk and placed his head in his hands, rubbing his eyes miserably. In the hours he had spent thinking about his admission to Tyria, he had come to one conclusion. She was right. He wasn?t in love with her. He had only been under an illusion, seeing a hologram in front of the real Tyria, shielding her from his eyes. But I really do like her. The real Tyria Sarkin, not the perfect one. As he finished his last thoughts, Kell was startled by loud alarms ringing in the hallway. He rose quickly from his bunk and keyed his door open, peering cautiously around the doorframe.

    His wariness was well-advised; several stray blaster bolts came screaming along the hallway as he hurriedly ducked his head back in, thinking furiously about what to do. Then, his battle instincts kicked in and he coolly reached for his blaster and a spare power pack, his comlink, his identification badge, and his helmet. If the base was under attack, he would do well to try and help as best he could. The best he could do, he concluded, was to stay alive and try to find his commanding officers. If they were unreachable, his next course of action would be to take his X-wing into space and support any sort of evacuation that might take place. At any rate, Kell?s place was not in his room.

    Carefully, he stepped into the hall and eased along the wall, very conscious of the fact that there was precious little cover in the spare military setting. At the end of the corridor, where it joined another passage, Kell pressed his back to the wall and leaned one eye around the corner, followed by the muzzle of his blaster and the rest of his body. Satisfied that he was not going to be killed yet, he jogged to the hangar, stopping at every corner to assess the danger of proceeding. It seemed as if whoever had raised the alarm was either gone or being more cautious now that their operation had been compromised.

    The whole sequence of events had finally begun to catch up to Kell, assembling in a logical order in his whirling brain. He suddenly found himself at the entrance to the hangar, with no recollection as to how he had gotten there, but with a more or less clear idea of what he w
  12. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002

    (geez, I'm impatient... :D )
  13. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Jan 12, 2000
    Interesting! Who's attacking the base, and why? And who's going to take care of the infiltrators who are actually in the base now that all the starfighters have taken off?

    I liked Kell's reflections on Tyria.
  14. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002
    *up disguised as a reply ;) *

    You'll see... And don't worry, there are people on the ground still--there are only 10 X-wings in space. Who's still in Folor Base? All will be told (maybe) in the next installment of this thrilling story! :D
  15. Admiral_Lelila

    Admiral_Lelila Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 29, 2001
    WOW Great story.

    I like how you have skillfully interwoven the story line from the books with your creation.



  16. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002
    Thanks, Lelila. Hope you like the next post--here's where my story becomes genuinely AU.

    The alarms jarred Myn Donos into wakefulness before his mind had time to catch up to his body. By the time he was fully aware of what he was doing, he had dressed and was more or less calmly strapping his blaster to his hip in preparation for the scramble call. He flicked his comlink on and punched in Antilles? number; it was likely that the Commander knew more than he did. Finding the frequency busy, Myn stuffed the comlink into a side pocket of his flightsuit, jogged into the hall, and headed in the general direction of the hangars.

    As Myn sprinted down the stairs, he slowly became aware of the fact that he was alone. No other pilots joined him in the stairwell and he had an uneasy feeling that this was not because they had all taken the turbolifts. He listened carefully to the echoes around him, but echoes were all he heard. Spooked, he resumed his downward flight.

    A door slammed open somewhere above him, and he drew his blaster in one smooth motion, bringing it into a ready position before him. Voices, mechanized, similar voices, [i]stormtrooper[/i] voices, bounced down the hard stairs and ricocheted off the walls, distorting and breaking up.

    ?No one here, sir.?

    ?Are you sure??

    ?There aren?t any voices. No footsteps, either.?

    A curse. ?Where the sith are they??

    ?I don?t know, sir.?

    ?All right, let?s cover the other group in the south hall.?

    Myn exhaled carefully as the door closed again, relaxing clenched muscles and breathing deeply to alleviate the tension in his body. That had been too close for comfort. [i]Where is that Antilles?[/i]

    Tucking his blaster back into its holster, Myn once again brought out his comlink and hit redial, attempting to contact Wedge. This time, the comlink beeped a confirmation, telling him that the signal had successfully found Antilles? end of the connection. The voice that answered was hushed and tense, but calm, and Myn found himself wishing he had a better knowledge of this man, the one who could stay in a base overrun by stormtroopers and still remain composed.

    ?Lead,? Wedge all but whispered.

    ?Lead, this is Nine.? Myn?s tone matched Wedge?s. ?Where are you??

    ?Right now, I?m a bit holed up in a locker room. The stormies haven?t gotten here yet; so far, I?ve managed to keep a step or two ahead of them. The only problem is, they?re between me and the hangar.?

    ?Exact location??

    ?Don?t come over here; that?s an order. You?ll just get yourself killed. I?ll be fine.?

    Myn snorted. ?Commander, it is against all the training I have ever had to actually refuse and order, but I regret to say I can?t do what you just asked of me. Will you tell me your exact location, or do I have to search the entire complex??

    The voice from the other end of the link did not sound in the least amused. ?Nine, get out of here.?

    ?That?s a negative, sir.?

    ?Lieutenant-- ?

    ?No, sir. I will [i]not[/i] leave you here. The rest of the base has been evacuated.? Though he did not know for sure if that was the case, it seemed likely that the twenty minutes elapsed since the first alert would have been adequate time to remove the military from the base.

    Wedge sighed. ?The training lockers, the ones right outside the sim rooms.?

    ?I?ll be there in five minutes, sir.?

    ?Don?t do anything heroic, Nine.?

    Myn allowed himself a small, hard smile. ?Don?t worry about it, sir.?

    ?Lead, out.?

    Once again checking the power settings on his blaster, Myn stowed his comlink and began jogging toward his Commander.
  17. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Jan 12, 2000
    AU? What kind of AU?

    This is very tense! I liked the way Myn decided he couldn't follow Wedge's orders, and the way Wedge gave in when he realised it, too.
  18. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002
    Thank you, Jane Jinn. It took some contemplation to decide who would stay behind on the base with Wedge (somebody had to do it, but strangely, there were no volunteers :p ).

    As for the AU (Alternate Universe), I'm trying to start the story off with Aaron Allston's ideas and then take it into my own galaxy--should be interesting, according to my brother, who would have something to say about "my own galaxy." ;)
  19. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002
    Grimacing, Wedge quickly assessed his possibilities. The list of options available to him was short?very, very, short. In fact, his list of choices consisted of one item, an activity that he suspected would slowly drive him mad: sitting and waiting for Myn. Not that Myn had given him any choice in the matter. He had asked Myn to leave, ordered Myn to leave, tried refusing to reveal his location, all purely useless activities.

    Wedge had to admit to himself that he secretly admired Donos? nerve in staying behind to try to rescue his Commanding Officer, even when Wedge had personally ordered him to leave. He also took a bit of pride in knowing that at least one of his pilots thought enough of him to try something as idiotic as rescuing a single person in a building full of rather unfriendly Imperial stormtroopers. Guess I?m not too bad of an excuse for a CO, he thought wryly.

    There was the sound of footsteps in the hall, voices, and then they were past, and Wedge allowed himself to relax again. His hand began to hurt, and, glancing down at it, he realized that he was clenching his blaster so tightly that his muscles had begun to cramp. He set the weapon down on the hard locker room bench beside him, within easy reach, should the need for it arise. Unfortunately, his comlink could not reach any X-wings that were already in space, and each signal his comlink emitted increased the possibility that someone would tap into his frequency and find him, so he could not afford to call to see if anyone was still on the ground. From what he had overheard the stormtroopers saying, there would not be much left of the base after the Imperials were through with it, and he knew that any Republic personnel still inside during the bombardment would most likely not make it out. He was unwilling to be one of those ill-fated people; Wedge Antilles did not believe in destiny.

    Glancing down at his chrono, Wedge noted that three standard minutes had passed since his communication with Donos. Two more minutes until we find out exactly how good Imp stormies are at setting up a perimeter to prevent detainees from escaping.

    The door to the room opened suddenly, and Wedge had his blaster up and pointed in that general direction before a conscious thought made its way through his head.

    ?Lead?? came Myn?s voice from behind a row of metal lockers.

    ?Right here,? Wedge responded, coming out slowly from his hiding place. ?Let?s get out of here.

    ?Sure.? For the first time, Wedge could see Myn?s face. Though the latter pilot looked concerned and a bit nervous, he was calm and calculating, never letting his guard down, even in the relatively safe inner room. Together, the two walked swiftly to the door, listening intently before pushing it open and training their blasters on the hall to ward off any possible attack.

    ?I?ll take the lead,? Myn volunteered. ?I know the fastest way to the hangars; I don?t think the Imps have any idea of who is still in the base, so they?re not searching yet for anyone in particular.?

    Wedge didn?t say anything, but he nodded, and that was all the acknowledgement Myn needed. Silently slipping into the corridor, he began to walk quickly toward a door visible near the end marked ?Stairs.? Wedge followed at a slight distance, not wanting to remove himself too far from the protection and alliance of his squadronmate.

    As Myn reached the stairwell, he placed one hand on the door handle, turning it manually so he could close it again without having to wait for the automatic sliding mechanism to do its job. Slowly, he opened the door a crack, then placed his ear to the metal, apparently listening for footsteps or voices. He twisted one arm to motion for Wedge to come forward, but as he turned, three blaster bolts screamed down the hall. Reflexively, he ducked, avoiding all but the third, which hit his shoulder with a sizzle and the smell of burning cloth and skin. Wedge, evaluating the situation in a matter of nanoseconds, sprinted toward Myn and snapped a few shots dow
  20. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002
    And enter the OC's!

    For this post: special thanks has to go to ?The Completely Unofficial Star Wars Encyclopedia? compiled by Bob Vitas. If you haven?t been there yet, I highly recommend it; it?s one of the most inclusive and helpful (not to mention free) resources a writer could have. Want to check it out? Go to [link=] The Completely Unofficial Star Wars Encyclopedia [/link]

    She was of average height and sinewy, with a slight self-assured swagger that spoke of years in the smuggling trade. Her black hair shone softly from a tight bun at the nape of her neck, and from her young, innocent face gleamed two anything but innocent dark grey eyes.

    In a matter of seconds, she assessed the small spaceport, noted the guard posts and nearest escape routes, counted the ships near hers and registered their makes and probable cargoes. She dropped her left hand to rest on her blaster, slung within easy reach on her left thigh.

    Pulling a datacard from her back pocket, she inserted it in a nearby security obelisk. The screen lit up with her name, Alahna Vahr, the name of her ship, the [i]Mynock[/i], and what she was legally carrying: rations. Not mentioned on the card were the fifty kilos of glitterstim packed into concealed compartments around the ship. Though a small shipment, it would pay for itself, and transporting rations made enough money without any effort or evasion of security.

    Her co-pilot, Jax Arvid, sauntered up beside her, surveying the scene before him with her same critical eye. A light breeze ruffled his nearly-white hair, accenting his dark amethyst eyes. ?So what do you say we unload this stuff and then catch a bite to eat?? he said, never looking directly at her. ?I was just talking to security and they mentioned a nice little bar half a kilometer from here.?

    ?Sure,? she said, catching the underlying meaning of his words: [i] ??a nice little bar?? where we could find a buyer.[/i] ?Let?s offload and then we can go straight there.?

    Jax nodded. ?You notice that Imp Star Destroyer in geosynch??

    Alahna voiced an affirmative. ?Don?t worry about them. The Empire is just about as gone as it?ll ever be.?

    ?I know,? responded Jax. ?I?m just a little curious why Genesia has an ISD in orbit above one of her major cities. You?d think that the Imps would conserve their fleet if they ever want to mount a serious attack on the Rebels.?

    Shrugging indifferently, Alahna said, ?They won?t ever win back the Empire. The Rebs have a pretty good grip on the Core and a decent one on the middle and outer rim worlds.?

    Jax blew out a breath. ?Well, I?d better get on that offload.?

    Unloading took a manner of minutes, and in less than half an hour, Alahna had implemented the various security precautions her ship incorporated into its design. Giving a jaunty wave to the young spaceport official who had been eyeing her appreciatively since she had stepped off the [i]Mynock[/i], Alahna gestured for Jax to join her and set off in the direction he had indicated earlier.

    After a quick twenty minute walk, they arrived in front of the [i]Space Happy[/i], a crowded establishment in the outskirts of Brala, the largest city in Genesia?s western hemisphere.

    Sliding onto a bar stool and placing both elbows on the chipped counter, Alahna nodded at the bartender, getting his attention long enough to place her order. Her Zadarian brandy arrived quickly and she swallowed it thoughtfully, examining the cantina?s patrons.

    In one of the booths behind her and to her left, a group of four humanoids sat playing some sort of card game, talking quietly in a language she didn?t understand. At the table next to them, two lively female barabels discussed something, perhaps the day?s trade. A solitary quarren sipped some sort of ale at the table to Alahna?s right, and in the far corner, several hard-core male human pilots sat in a tight group, glaring unpleasantly at the rest of the bar customers.

    Jax bent close to her. ?You see anyone?? he drawled quietly.

  21. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002

    (heck, why not? :D )
  22. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002
    The shrill alarms that alerted Face to the impending hyperspace-to-realspace transition threw him from his sleep into a blurred and confused reality. Before he quite knew what he was doing, he had his X-wing in a tight downward spiral, his inertial compensator dialed up, and his shields and lasers recharging as fast as they could go. Several rude comments from his astromech later, and he had a more or less coherent picture of what was happening around him. In some unfathomable way, he had become stranded in the center of a cloud of Imperial TIE fighters.

    Not good, was all he had time to think before piloting required his full attention and he settled back into an old routine: staying alive, and getting out.

    "All Wraiths, check in.? That would be the Commander, a person who, despite the distortion of the comm, did not sound happy.

    Face was gratified to see the entirety of his squadron still alive; although they had jumped into an ambush, they had not been immediately wiped out. The comm silence was almost eerie for a moment as each pilot assessed his or her situation, and then the channels filled to overflowing with little bits of advice, warnings, cries for help.

    "?can?t shake??

    "?recommend you dive, Three??

    "?where are you??

    "?not working?thanks??

    From a combination of luck and habit, Face soon found himself trailing his wingmate, Ton Phanan. Following Ton through a complicated series of twists, dives, and sideslips, Face snapped off two or three quad-linked shots at various targets. He was not sure if he hit any of them, but with the horde of TIE?s swarming around him, it was likely that his shots had hit something.

    Although outnumbered by TIE?s and outclassed by the huge Star Destroyer hovering just outside the engagement area, the Wraiths seemed to be holding their own, at least for the moment. And then something completely and utterly unexpected happened.

    The Star Destroyer began a ponderous turn, recalled its compliment of fighters, and jumped to lightspeed so quickly that several unfortunate TIE pilots were left behind. The Wraiths disposed of the remaining TIE?s in short order, and formed up as a squadron once again, in three flights of four, with Flight One at the head of the formation. The planetary defense squadrons and capital ships had just made it to the engagement zone, and their comm chatter sounded just as bemused as Face felt.

    "Um?what was that?? Face ventured on squadron frequency. There was no answer. He tried again. ?Did anyone have any idea how they knew we were coming here?? Again silence.

    Wraith Five, Kell, observed, ?Maybe they didn?t know we were coming. That might be why they left in such a hurry, even though they outnumbered us pretty heavily.?

    "I?d love to speculate on this later, people, but right now we have to get down to the surface.? Wedge was saying. ?We have some severely damaged craft and a wounded pilot.?

    Face tore his eyes from his controls long enough to look around him. Though his own X-wing had suffered negligible damage, Falynn was limping along on two sublight engines, ?Piggy? saBinring had lost his left rudder, and one of Wes Janson?s lasers had been reduced to space dust by a lucky shot. ?Who?s been wounded?? he asked finally.

    "Nine was shot in the shoulder while evacuating the base,? Wedge clarified. ?He will need minimal medical attention.? There was a pause from the Commanding Officer, then, ?All right, I?ve got clearance for our landing in Brala. Those of you with heavy damages, you get priority repair work. You can tell Cubber that if and when he arrives. I don?t know when he?ll be getting here; his hyperspace route was significantly more circuitous. For the rest of you: you?re more or less on shore leave until we get backup, but you?d better be reachable at all times. No drinking and no traveling outside the city. Even though this is an Alliance-controlled world, we?ll be leaving as soon as we can.?

    Sounds of acknowledgement came over the comm, and Face
  23. Admiral_Lelila

    Admiral_Lelila Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 29, 2001
    Very well written. You incorporated drama and humor.

    Face noticed, changing to a lighter shade of grey. He was fascinated, and once again Ton elbowed him in the side.

    "Look, Face, you can make googly eyes at her somewhere else. We have a job to do,? Ton whispered.



  24. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002
    Thanks, Admiral_Lelila. I've really never been good at being serious for a long stretch. I liked that part, too. :)
  25. Xaara

    Xaara Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 30, 2002
    Wes Janson studied the datacard in front of him with extreme pretended interest, his dark eyes narrowed in mock concentration. Across the small room, Wedge lounged comfortably in an overstuffed chair. Wes grimaced. He would worry about how to pay for the room later?for now, just being somewhere relaxing was enough. Relaxing for some of us.

    "What?" Wedge looked up from where he had almost dozed off.

    Kriff, did I say that out loud? "Nothing."

    Sighing, Wes' friend, partner-in-crime, longtime squadronmate, and, painfully evident now, superior officer, reclined his chair. "I think I could get to like it here."

    Wes scowled and dropped all pretense of writing the reports Wedge had assigned him. "Rub it in, why don't you."

    "Lieutenant Janson," Wedge drawled, emphasizing Wes' rank, "I believe you have work to do."

    "Yes, sir, Commander," Wes mumbled sarcastically, turning back to the report.

    [blockquote]ATTN: Command Seat, Admiral Ackbar, Coruscant

    After the evacuation of Folor Base, Wraith Squadron made a jump to the previously agreed-upon coordinates to regroup before returning to active duty status. Unfortunately, the support crew has not yet arrived and it will take longer than previously anticipated to restore the squadron to full working order. Awaiting orders from High Command, not that we'll follow them anyway, so why even bother?

    Wes jumped when he heard a cough and was suddenly aware of Wedge's presence behind him. Guiltily, he changed the last sentence to Awaiting orders from High Command, and signed the report before plugging the datacard into a nearby transmitter and sending it to Coruscant. Turning to the holonet broadcaster to his right, Wes reached for the remote and flung himself down onto a couch opposite the screen. Absently, he clicked the set on and flipped through several channels before stopping on the local news station, which had decided that the sudden arrival of a squadron of X-wings was worth notice and had sent a correspondent to collect any information available.

    "?so far all we have are bits and pieces of information, but all evidence seems to point to this being the infamous Rogue Squadron, legendary protectors of the people of the galaxy," the holobroadcaster said, an insincere smile playing across his face and stopping well before his eyes.

    Wedge, who had by then returned to his chair, opened one eye drowsily at the mention of Rogue Squadron. As the news continued, he came fully awake and tensed with what Wes interpreted as worry.

    "Why do they think we're Rogue Squadron?" Wes asked with just enough chagrin in his voice to sound like he was genuinely aggravated. "Everyone knows the Rogues paint their X-wings red. Ours are grey. A nerf-herder could figure out that we?re not the Rogues."

    "And a nerf-herder could also figure that we are the Rogues and tell his Imp buddies."

    Cautiously, Wes turned his head until he was watching Wedge, who had stood and begun to pace the room. "But we're not Rogue Squadron."

    "That's irrelevant."

    "Are you saying what I think you're saying?"


    Wes moaned. "But we just got here." He stood and stepped over a low table to where he had thrown his obnoxious orange flightsuit, folding it into a neat rectangle.

    "And now we're leaving before some nice Star Destroyer decides to demolish Brala so he's rid of the Rogues."

    "I haven't even had a chance to see the sights," Wes complained, clicking the holonet off and stuffing the few belongings he had brought with him into his duffel bag. His holster went on first, followed by his light blaster and two extra power packs.

    Wedge snorted derisively. "There are plenty of pretty girls on other planets, Wes."

    "But they aren't always smart and pretty."

    "How would you know?"

    Feigning injury, Wes slouched to the door and palmed it open, walking down the hall with a swagger that he knew would annoy Wedge. At the front desk, he turned in his key card, winked at t
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